Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Volunteering at Winston-Salem's Overflow Homeless Shelter

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community and serve the less fortunate?  Do you want to find an activity that you can participate in with your entire family?  If so, then volunteering with the Overflow Homeless Shelter in Winston-Salem may be for you!

Project:Re3 has been volunteering at the Overflow Shelter in Winston-Salem.  On Monday, my family volunteered at the shelter at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.  My husband and I volunteered along with our three kids (ages 12, 10 and 5).  We also volunteered with some of my coworkers.  

We served as "meal volunteers."  Meal volunteers arrive at 7:45 pm at the appropriate location (a number of churches across Winston-Salem serve as overflow shelter locations). Meal volunteers are asked to bring a healthy meal, drinks, plates, napkins and eating utensils.  We brought pizza and cookies, but the men at the shelter also love home cooked meals like baked lasagna, fried chicken, and chili.  Redeemer Presbyterian was decorated for Christmas, and we set the table and set up the food before the men arrived.  

Some members of our group were also check-in volunteers.  Check-in volunteers are also at the shelter from 7:45 pm until 9 pm.  At the shelter location, each guest is assigned a bin. The bins have sheets and pillows.  When the guests receive their bin, they take the sheets and pillows, and they place their personal belongings in the bin for the night.  The check-in volunteers help coordinate handing out the bins and help lay out the mats, which are pictured above.  

When the guests arrived, we served them food and drinks.  After the guests received their food, we sat and talked to them.  Volunteers are invited to stay and fellowship with the guests at the shelter until lights out. I met a number of the guests and listened to their stories. Some of the guests simply talked about their favorite foods.  Other guests shared prayer requests and told me more about their past.  Two of the guests touched my heart, and I look forward to getting to know them as we continue to volunteer this winter. 

After all of the guests had eaten, we cleaned up and left around 8:45 pm.

If you have the time, another need at the shelters is for overnight volunteers.  Overnight volunteers serve from 9 pm until 6:30 am.  Two volunteers are needed.  One volunteer stays awake to monitor while the other volunteer sleeps.  Then the volunteers can alternate shifts. 

If you would like to help, but do not have the opportunity to serve, the shelters also need blessing bags.  Blessing bags contain essential items for the guests, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.  A detailed list of items needed can be found here.  
If you are interested in serving or learning more about the overflow shelters, you can get information here.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

This Weekend ...

I know this is a busy time of year, but I am really looking forward to this coming weekend ...

Yes, I know weekends are good anyway

But this one is going to be extra special, I think ...

We are having our first annual Holiday Bazaar at Project: Re3 on Saturday, Dec 12 from 10am to 2pm!

All the proceeds will go to support our upcoming trip to Uganda!

There will be vendors for you to take care of getting some unique gifts!

We will also have baked goods for sale to satisfy that sweet tooth!

And homemade chicken stew to help you warm up on a cold winter day!

And we even have photographers coming for Christmas mini-sessions outside!

Did you know there will also be lots of games, free face painting, and activities for the kids too?

This is also a way for us to introduce ourselves and our new home to the community!

I look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Lauren Reel or 336-409-0705